UK – Man arrested in DNP illegal selling operation

The man from West London is suspected of supplying this highly toxic chemical which has been misused as a fat burning supplement and has been the cause of a number of recent deaths.

This morning, Ealing and Harrow Borough Councils, accompanied by the FSA’s National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) have conducted searches on two properties in Ealing and Harrow alongside the Metropolitan Police.

A significant amount of a substance believed to be DNP was found at the premises.

The NFCU launched an operation in April 2015 following the death of 21-year old Eloise Parry after she had bought DNP online. As a result, several websites were identified by the NFCU as selling DNP as a slimming aid and were subsequently closed down.

Andy Morling, Head of Food Crime at the Food Standards Agency, said: ‘It is illegal to sell DNP for human consumption as it is a dangerous industrial chemical. Last year, DNP was responsible for five deaths. I would like to thank all those involved in this operation that aimed to tackle the online sale of DNP. It is our close working partnership with local authorities, law enforcement agencies and internet companies in the UK and abroad that has enabled us to close these websites and work to disrupt possible supply chains.’

‘The FSA and its partners would like to use this as an opportunity to once again highlight the dangers of DNP. It is an industrial chemical and is not made to be consumed as a diet supplement. Please do not be persuaded by the claims being made, those selling DNP do not care about your wellbeing.’

DNP has legitimate uses in areas such as biochemical research and in manufacturing chemicals. For this reason, DNP is not illegal for sale but it is illegal where sold for human consumption.

(Source: FSA website)

US – Mother sues Monster Energy for her child’s death

The alert around energy drinks caffeine content is already high, but the following news enlightens again the problem.

Paula Morris, mother of Alex Morris (19), dead by cardiac arrest on 1st July 2012, sued Monster Energy in the past days. The lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court alleges Morris would not have died if he did not drink two cans of Monster’s energy drink every day for the three years before his death, including the day he died.

This is the second suspect case, after last year death of 14-year-old Anais Fournier, of Maryland. Also in this case the family sued the company for the same reasons.

Freedom of Information Request revealed that from 2004 to 2012 the Food and Drug Administration had received reports of five deaths occurring after drinking Monster Energy. The reports do not prove a causal link between the drink and any health problems, but the alert is at the maximum level.

The company said previously in Fournier’s case that no blood test was performed to confirm that the girl died of “caffeine toxicity” as the lawsuit claimed, saying she died of natural causes brought on by pre-existing conditions.

The caffeine content of most Monster Energy drinks is approximately 10 mg/oz (33.81 mg/100ml), or 160 mg for a 16 oz can. The packaging usually contains a warning label advising consumers against drinking more than 48 oz per day (16 oz per day in Australia). The UK and Europe do not have these warning labels. The drinks are not recommended for children, pregnant women or people sensitive to caffeine, but there are also some troubles about energy drinks companies advertising towards the children segment.

As published here in the recent past, the consumption of energy drinks by youngsters and children is a real problem and also in EU it’s a moment on reflection on caffeine’s safety: European Commission has requested an opinion to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on caffeine’s safety and suspended the evaluation of caffeine’s claims.